None . . Page.. 854 ..
That is what should be happening. The community deserves a proper process which explains the implications of Hilmer and develops, in a considered way, appropriate strategies by which ACTEW can respond to developments in the national electricity industry. That is what this committee will do. It will do the job which the Government has left undone. It will ensure that we move forward in a constructive way; that we have, in ACTEW - whether corporatised or not - an electricity distribution business in Canberra of which we can continue to be proud and which is equipped to meet whatever challenges lie ahead. I urge people to support Ms Horodny's motion.
MS TUCKER (4.00): I would like to respond to a couple of the points that have been raised so far by speakers against our motion. We have been told that there has been consultation. Obviously, there are different views on that. People who have been consulted are often people who perhaps are representing various interest groups, although a lot of those have not been consulted at all. We have already read out a list of the groups who feel that they have not had enough time to look at this issue. There are other individuals ringing - ordinary citizens who have no idea of the possible consequences of corporatisation that is not done with a social conscience. Why would they have any idea, with such a limited amount of debate? I have been living in Canberra for over 10 years, for 20 years actually, with one short time away, and I read the paper and have a great interest in affairs to do with social issues and environmental issues. I worked in a library where I was in touch with all the publications coming out. I am sorry; I do not agree that there has been wide debate on this issue. There was a Labor government, and it probably was not high on their agenda. They were not looking at it anyway. It has not had enough time to be discussed in depth.
Once again, we are hearing the word “rational”. I find it quite interesting because, when you come into this place, you imagine that there is a lot of rationality and careful consideration of legislation which will be in place for some time. It does not appear rational at all to be given a shell of legislation and for it to be argued, “Hey, why do we not just sit back and see what the Government does with this legislation? Let us give them a chance”. We are given this shell of legislation that is totally open. We have had a problem in getting our amendments drafted. That is possibly because they are coming in at a great rate - not just from our own work and research, but also from expert groups outside our office and outside this Territory. The point is that we are getting this conglomeration of amendments which we are going to be forced to look at. It is not an atmosphere of considered and thoughtful analysis at all. As we are all very aware, the stress level is high when people are lobbying for amendments and the time constraints are as great as they are. I cannot see that this is rational in any way, and we object to the process. That is why we are standing here with this motion. A select committee is not necessarily going to stop corporatisation happening at all. I repeat what Lucy Horodny said: It is just going to make it a good job.
I would also like to make a comment about Mr De Domenico's response to Ms Horodny's comment about business. It is very well documented that, in Australia, bureaucrats, government and even the private sector, to a degree, have not understood the real potential of green business; so I cannot accept that point. Another point that was made is that Mr Pyner supports ACTEW. The letter we have from Mr Pyner - yes, we have had several meetings with many unions - says that they would support corporatisation on 1 January 1996, which is not what we are being asked to look at at this point.